So why is storytelling so important? The biggest reason is that it allows us to take the qualitative metrics and turn them into anecdotal evidence, which can be used to further company goals. It also allows us to frame our accomplishments in such a way that helps executives see the business value in our endeavors. In this article from the Community Roundtable, Chris Catania, Community Team Lead and Strategist at ESRI, talks about some of the best practices for using storytelling in your online community to bring value back to your company.
The Irish Tech News encourages us to think of our presence on social media not so much as a broadcaster, but more as a facilitator-curator. Author Virpi Oinonen suggests that we should be paying more attention to conversations rather than polished, fact-checked articles and announcements that internal comms professionals push through newsletters, intranets, and email. As a journalist turned community storyteller, I couldn't agree more!
Everyone needs a few good tools in their back pocket. Nancy Casanova, Social Media Strategist at SCE, walks through her go-to tools for social media, content planning, and keeping up with the industry trends. I've bookmarked a few of these myself to check out in the coming weeks!
The team at StackOverflow has begun to curate stories from the raw data of their Annual Developer Survey, which was filled out by over 100,000 developers in January 2018. Take a look at their initial findings, and keep an eye out for the raw data to be released soon as well.
Getting a community to gather in one location is a hard enough battle to fight some days, but that's not the only thing on your plate. You not only have to make sure that the community that has gathered is diverse and inclusive, but that they also remain active. That (and more) is all in a day's work. Here are a few resources that might help:
-Kaare Long, Founder of a Cue Creative, gives some pointers on how to create and maintain a viable and successful online community. While these might seem like they're bringing us back to the basics, a good community starts with the basics! If your foundation isn't solid, you won't have the ability to grow and mature in the ways you hope.
-Bradley Chalupski of Vanilla Forums brings us this next article: Encouraging Lurkers to be Active in your Community. We've all been the lurker -- not sure what to say or how to engage, or if we even want to! Combining data with gamification can help bring those lurkers out of the shadows and give them something to chat about.
-Lastly, but perhaps the most important of all, is making sure that all of your members not only feel welcome, but included in a community that is a good representation of who they are. In this great blogpost, Pagerduty CEO Jennifer Tejada talks about how their company values of trust, inclusion, and growth are reflected in their community initiatives.
Being a leader means seeing the birds-eye view and making sure all of the pieces fit together both above the forest and inside each individual tree. At DevRelCon London 2017, Ade Oshineye, Senior Staff Developer Advocate at Google, talked about how to fit together advocacy, design, context, support, growth, metrics, and happiness.
While some people love to read academic papers in their spare time, I can't say that it's ever been a hobby. However, given the number of research papers being written around community topics lately, I may have to find a way to enjoy them! This one in particular deals with the conflict that can occur in online forums, and how quickly those conflicts can grow. As I'm sure some of you have observed over the years, researchers Srijan Kumar, William L. Hamilton, Jure Leskovec, and Dan Jurafsky point out that while most conflicts are started by active community members, it's the less active users that carry them out. Read more fascinating conclusions in their summary.